Gather ye bead necklaces while ye may, as Cayman Mardi Gras is returning to George Town for a three-day celebration of music and dancing from Monday through Wednesday next week.
This is the second year of the festival and it promises to be bigger than 2015’s inaugural Mardi Gras, with VIP guests and DJs leading the crowds through nights of merriment and entertainment.
More than 117 local and international performers are on the schedule, bringing culture, music, food and of course lots of beads to visitors and residents up for a good time.
Monday, Feb. 8
It all kicks off with the Home Grown Food Fest and Awards being held in front of Bayshore Mall starting at 6:30 p.m. This night is completely free to the public and attendees can get their fill of Cayman and Cajun-infused delights created by some of Cayman’s top restaurants.
DJ Lexx and others will be spinning the hits, with a special concert appearance by Swanky Kitchen Band. If you’ve never heard Swanky before, you’re in for a treat!
The skies light up with The Hard Rock Café Fireworks show starting at 9 p.m., so get a good spot on the waterfront for the best view.
Cayman Mardi Gras will be honoring several of the islands’ “home grown” celebrities this year, culminating in the presentation of the Cayman Music and Entertainers Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Lambert Seymour or “Lammie,” as he is affectionately known. It is given in recognition of his more than 50 years of contributions to the music and tourism industry of the Cayman Islands, and is an award most feel is long overdue.
Alex Ortiz, star of the HBO comedy shows “Bad Boys of Comedy” and “Def Comedy Jam” will host the evening.
Tuesday, Feb. 9
Get ready for the islands’ biggest “Road Block Party” and the Fat Tuesday Main Event when the gates open at 8 p.m. in front of Bayshore Mall. Your host for the night is none other than Grammy Award winner Fatman Scoop and VH1’s Love & Hip Hop star, Shay Johnson.
George Town harbor will light up with a mix of music and beautiful costumes as Tribal Carnival showcases the launch of its official 2016 Batabano costume line, themed “Persian Fantasy.” The event features an impressive DJ lineup, including DJ Von HD, Selecta Renegade, DJ Moses and DJ Ryan.
Tickets are only $10 and are available at Funky Tangs, all Jacques Scott locations, Winner’s Circle and Singh’s Roti Shop. The balconies will be open and tens of thousands of beads will be dropping to the crowd below. It’s a night of color and spectacle not to be missed.
Wednesday, Feb. 10
Finally, you can spend the public holiday at the All Day EDM Wednesday party in front of Margaritaville. With seven cruise ships in port and more than 22,000 visitors coming ashore, this event is set to be a big one.
Organizers are encouraging residents to first attend the Agriculture Show in Lower Valley, get their fill of food and home-grown fun, and then come to town to dance the night away. Stars include DJ Pauly D from the hit reality series “Jersey Shore,” who takes the stage at 10:30 p.m.; DJ Kay Jay from Playboy; and Filipino sensation Ellen Adarna, a young woman sure to draw a large crowd.
Again, there will be no shortage of entertainers to choose from. DJ Lin, DJ Yo Yo, Operator TNT, Alex Pash, Marcelle, Jason Gilbert and a host of others take to the stage all day into the night, alongside DJ Pauly D. This event is totally free to the public, so everyone should come out and enjoy the nearly three-day Cayman Mardi Gras celebration.
Saxon Insurance is providing free shuttle service to and from the event, so look out for the buses with the Saxon signs on them. For more information or to reserve VIP balcony spots, visit www.caymanmardigras.com or email [email protected]